GRAND RAPIDS — The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Grand Valley State University have agreed to establish a cooperative program of premedical and medical education by which Grand Rapids Community College students who transfer as undergraduate premedical students to GVSU will have the opportunity to be granted an early assurance of admission to MSU’s med school.

The Early Assurance Program became official at an agreement signing ceremony held Monday at GRCC.

Gilda Gely, GRCC provost; Gayle R. Davis, GVSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Kim Wilcox, MSU provost; and Marsha D. Rappley, dean of the MSU College of Human Medicine, were joined by other school administrators at the signing.

The EAP will provide an enhanced opportunity for admission to medical school for GRCC students transferring to GVSU as pre-medical students who are interested in serving  traditionally underserved populations. These students will receive academic advising directed at admission to MSU College of Human Medicine, and will be enrolled in a program of enriching clinical and service experiences in preparation for admission.

Under the agreement, MSU College of Human Medicine is increasing the number of EAP seats it reserves at the medical school for GVSU from five seats to six seats, in order to include an opportunity for students that have transferred from GRCC to GVSU as pre-med students. According to MSU administrators, in the fall of 2011 they received more than 6,250 applicants for the 200 seats available for first-year students. In addition to GRCC and GVSU, 11 other colleges and universities, including Michigan State University, participate with the EAP. GRCC is the first community college to be part of an Early Assurance Program agreement.

Preference for EAP admission will be given to those former GRCC students who now apply as a GVSU student and may not otherwise be familiar with what goes into preparing for premedical and medical school application processes.

These students must also meet one or more of the following criteria:
• are a first generation college student
• graduate from an underserved high school as defined by the U.S. Dept. of Education
• are eligible for or a recipient of an undergraduate Pell or institutional need-based grant
• graduate from an underserved (health professional shortage) urban or rural area
• demonstrate interest in a high need medical specialty area

Nick Monsma, a senior at GVSU, attended the signing. He will be the first student to enroll in the program. Monsma, a Grand Rapids native, attended GRCC then transferred to Grand Valley. He was admitted to the MSU CHM in the spring and will begin classes in the fall of 2013.

“I think this is an amazing opportunity; I’m looking forward to going to school at Michigan State,” Monsma, a biomedical sciences major, said.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

Grand Valley State University attracts more than 24,500 students from all 83 Michigan counties and dozens of other states and foreign countries. Grand Valley offers 81 undergraduate and 29 graduate degree programs from campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids, and Holland, and from regional centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. The university is dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience, with research opportunities and business partnerships.

Founded in 1964, MSU’s College of Human Medicine was among the nation’s first community-based medical schools. The college provides students with comprehensive training in clinical settings that most closely parallel the environment in which most physicians practice. First and second-year students begin the program at either the Secchia Center in Grand Rapids or on the campus of MSU in East Lansing. Clinical experience is provided in six community campuses at 13 leading hospitals throughout the state. The college is home to centers for excellence in Parkinson’s disease research and women’s health and reproduction research. For more information, visit the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Web site at


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